Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio recently published a case report analyzing the positive effects that psilocybin– also known as magic mushrooms– can have on color blindness.
The team first discussed some implications gleaned from a single vision improvement self-study reported by a colleague. Then, they cited other past reports and showed how a stronger understanding of psychedelic applications in therapeutic settings is needed.
Previous reports have suggested that people with color blindness– or color vision deficiency (CVD)– benefit from using psilocybin or lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) to improve color vision.
However, there is still a scarcity of scientific evidence backing up these claims since research surrounding these drugs is very restricted.
Three different types of photoreceptors, also known as cones, are critical for color vision. These cones are retinal photoreceptors that have light-sensitive pigments and sense the colors blue, red, and green. And the absence of even just one of these pigments will cause color blindness.
Red-green CVD is the most common form of CVD and refers to difficulty distinguishing between green and red. This condition is usually inherited and occurs in 0.5% of women and 8% of men.
Individuals with CVD only perceive about 10% of color variations and hues as opposed to those with normal color vision. And navigating life with color blindness can be extremely challenging.
Graphics, maps, and signs can be indistinguishable. Cooking and getting dressed may be difficult, and certain career choices where color sight is required could be restricted.
Right now, there is no color blindness cure, either. However, there have been some viable therapies– including wearing specific color blindness glasses that selectively filter certain wavelengths of light to make red and green frequencies distinct.
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